7,435 yd (6,799 m)
Longest hole is #2 - 575 yd (526 m)
Nick Price (1986),
Greg Norman (1996)
Golf Club, located in Augusta, Georgia, is one of the
most famous golf clubs in the world. Founded by Bobby Jones and
Clifford Roberts on the site of the former Fruitland (later
Fruitlands) Nursery, the course was designed by Jones and Alister
MacKenzie and opened for play in January 1933. Since 1934, it has
played host to the annual Masters Tournament, one of the four major
championships in professional golf, and the only major played each
year at the same course. It was the number one ranked course in Golf
Digest's 2009 list of America's 100 greatest courses and was the
number ten ranked course on Golfweek Magazine's 2011 list of best
classic courses in the United States, in terms of course
The club's exclusive membership policies have drawn criticism,
particularly because the club successfully kept black golfers out of
the tournament for 40 years until
Lee Elder participated in the 1975
Masters. Elder was not invited to participate in the 1975 tournament;
he had automatically qualified by winning the 1974 Monsanto Open. No
African American members were admitted until 1990, and the club
used to require all caddies to be black. The club began granting
membership to women in August 2012. Prior to the acceptance of female
members, Augusta National defended its position by noting that in
2011, more than 15% of the non-tournament rounds were played by female
players who were member guests or spouses of active members. In
August 2012, it admitted its first two female members, Condoleezza
Rice and Darla Moore. Augusta National has defended its membership
policies, stressing that it is a private organization that has the
legal right to establish its own bylaws and regulations.
In 2018, Augusta National
Golf Club was voted the number one Platinum
Club of the World,
Golf & Country Clubs by the election conducted
by Club Leaders Forum.
1.1 Amen Corner
1.2 "The Big Oak Tree"
1.3 Eisenhower Tree
1.4 Ike's Pond
1.5 Rae's Creek
1.6 Architectural features
2.1 Notable members
2.3 2002 membership controversy
3 Green jacket
5 Appearances in video games
7 External links
The course was formerly a plant nursery, and each hole on the
course is named after the tree or shrub with which it has become
associated. Several of the holes on the first nine have been renamed,
as well as hole #11.
Flowering Crab Apple
Lengths of the course for the Masters at the start of each decade:
2010: 7,435 yards (6,799 m)
2000: 6,985 yards (6,387 m)
1990: 6,905 yards (6,314 m)
1980: 7,040 yards (6,437 m)
1970: 6,980 yards (6,383 m)
1960: 6,980 yards (6,383 m)
1950: 6,900 yards (6,309 m)
1940: 6,800 yards (6,218 m)
Unlike most other private or public golf courses in the US, Augusta
National has never been rated. During the 1990 Masters Tournament, a
team of USGA raters, organized by
Golf Digest, evaluated the course
and gave it an unofficial rating of 76.2. It was re-evaluated in 2009
and given an unofficial rating of 78.1.
The golf course architecture website GolfClubAtlas.com has said,
"Augusta National has gone through more changes since its inception
than any of the world's twenty or so greatest courses. To call it a
MacKenzie course is false advertising as his features are essentially
long gone and his routing is all that is left." The authors of the
site also add that MacKenzie and Jones were heavily influenced by the
Old Course at St Andrews, and intended that the ground game be central
to the course. Almost from Augusta's opening, Roberts sought to make
changes to minimize the ground game, and effectively got free rein to
do so because MacKenzie died shortly after the course's opening and
Jones went into inactivity due to World War II and then a crippling
illness. The authors add, "With the ground game gone, the course was
especially vulnerable to changes in technology, and this brought on a
slew of changes from at least 15 different 'architects'." Golf
Course Histories has an aerial comparison of the architectural changes
for Augusta National
Golf Club for the year 1938 versus 2013.
Among the changes to the course were several made by architect Perry
Maxwell in 1937, including an important alteration involving the
current 10th hole. When Augusta National originally opened for play in
January 1933, the opening hole (now the 10th) was a relatively benign
par 4 that played just in excess of 400 yards. From an elevated tee,
the hole required little more than a short iron or wedge for the
approach. Maxwell moved the green in 1937 to its present location –
on top of the hill, about 50 yards back from the old site – and
transformed it into the toughest hole in
Masters Tournament history.
Ben Crenshaw referred to Maxwell's work on the 10th hole as "one of
the great strokes in golf architecture".
For the 1999 tournament, a short rough was instated around the
fairways. Referred to as the second cut, it is substantially shorter
than the comparable primary rough at other courses, with an average
length of 1.625 inches (4.13 cm). It is meant to reduce a
player's ability to control the ball coming out of this lie, and
encourage better accuracy for driving onto the fairway.
The second shot at the 11th, all of the 12th, and the first two shots
at the 13th hole at Augusta are nicknamed "Amen Corner". This term was
first used in print by author
Herbert Warren Wind in his April 21,
Sports Illustrated article about the Masters that year. In a
Golf Digest article in April 1984, 26 years later, Wind told about its
origin. He said he wanted a catchy phrase like baseball's "hot-corner"
or football's "coffin-corner" to explain where some of the most
exciting golf had taken place (the Palmer-Venturi rules issue at
twelve, over an embedded ball ruling and how it was handled, in
particular). Thus "Amen Corner" was born. He said it came from the
title of a jazz record he had heard in the mid-1930s by a group led by
Chicago's Mezz Mezzrow, Shouting in that Amen Corner. In a Golf
Digest article in April 2008, writer Bill Fields added some new
updated information about the origin of the name. He wrote that
Richard Moore, a golf and jazz historian from South Carolina, tried to
purchase a copy of the old Mezzrow 78 RPM disc for an "Amen Corner"
exhibit he was putting together for his
Golf Museum at Ahmic Lake,
Ontario. After extensive research, Moore found that the record never
existed. As Moore put it, Wind, himself a jazz buff, must have
"unfortunately bogeyed his mind, 26 years later". While at Yale, he
was no doubt familiar with, and meant all along, the popular version
of the song (with the correct title, "Shoutin' in that Amen Corner"
written by Andy Razaf), which was recorded by the Dorsey Brothers
Orchestra, vocal by Mildred Bailey (Brunswick label No. 6655) in 1935.
Moore told Fields that, being a great admirer of Wind's work over the
years, he was reluctant, for months, to come forth with his discovery
that contradicted Wind's memory. Moore's discovery was first reported
Golf World magazine in 2007, before Fields' longer article in Golf
Digest in 2008.
Arnold Palmer outlasted
Ken Venturi to win the tournament with
heroic escapes at Amen Corner. Amen Corner also played host to Masters
moments such as Byron Nelson's birdie-eagle at 12 and 13 in 1937, and
Sam Snead's water save at 12 in 1949 that sparked him to victory. On
the flip side of fate, Jordan Spieth's quadruple bogey on 12 during
Sunday's final round in 2016 cost him his 2-stroke lead and ultimately
"The Big Oak Tree"
"The Big Oak Tree" is on the golf course side of the clubhouse and was
planted in the 1850s.
Main article: Eisenhower Tree
Eisenhower Tree in 2011
Also known as the "Eisenhower Pine", a loblolly pine was located on
the 17th hole, approximately 210 yards (192 m) from the Masters
tee. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, an Augusta National member, hit
the tree so many times that, at a 1956 club meeting, he proposed that
it be cut down. Not wanting to offend the president, the club's
chairman, Clifford Roberts, immediately adjourned the meeting rather
than reject the request. In February 2014, the
Eisenhower Tree was
removed after suffering extensive damage during an ice storm.
During a visit to Augusta National, then-General Eisenhower returned
from a walk through the woods on the eastern part of the grounds, and
Clifford Roberts that he had found a perfect place to build a
dam if the club would like a fish pond. Ike's Pond was built and
named, and the dam is located just where Eisenhower said it should
be. This is also the location that Roberts committed suicide by
gunshot in 1977. At age 83, he had been in ill health for several
months with cancer and had a debilitating stroke.
Rae's Creek cuts across the southeastern corner of the Augusta
National property. It flows along the back of the 11th green, in front
of the 12th green, and ahead of the 13th tee. This is the lowest point
in elevation of the course. The Hogan and Nelson Bridges cross the
creek after the 12th and 13th tee boxes, respectively. The creek was
named after former property owner John Rae, who died in 1789.
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Available for amateurs wishing to be housed there during the Masters
Tournament, the Crow's Nest provides living space for up to five
individuals. Rising from the approximately 30 by 40-foot (9.1 by
12.2 m) (111 m2) room is the clubhouse's 11-foot (3.4 m) square
cupola. The cupola features windows on all sides. The Crow's Nest
consists of one room with partitions and dividers that create three
cubicles with one bed each, and one cubicle with two beds. There is
also a full bathroom with an additional sink. The sitting area has a
game table, sofa, and chairs, telephone and TV. Placed throughout the
Crow's Nest are books on golf, and lining the walls are photos and
sketches depicting past Masters and other golf scenes.
One of ten cabins on the Augusta National property, it was built by
the club's membership for member
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower after his
election to the presidency in 1952. The cabin was built according to
Secret Service security guidelines, and is adorned by an eagle located
above the front porch.
Founders Circle is a memorial located in front of the course's
clubhouse, at the end of
Magnolia Lane. Plaques at Founders Circle
honor Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts.
There is a bridge over Rae's Creek that connects the fairway of hole
12 to its green. It is constructed of stone and covered with
artificial turf. The bridge was dedicated to
Ben Hogan in 1958 to
commemorate his 72-hole score of 274 (–14) five years earlier, the
course record at the time.
The main driveway leading from Washington Road to the course's
clubhouse is called
Magnolia Lane. The lane is flanked on either side
by 60 magnolia trees, each grown from seeds planted by the Berckmans
family in the 1850s.
Magnolia Lane is 330 yards (300 m) long and
was paved in 1947. There were formerly 61 magnolia trees along the
road, but a severe thunderstorm on April 4, 2011, the night before
practice day, felled one of the trees.
Nelson Bridge is a stonework bridge over Rae's Creek that connects the
teeing ground of hole 13 to its fairway. In 1958,, it was
Byron Nelson to honor his performance in 1937.
Par 3 Fountain
The Par 3 Fountain is next to the No. 1 tee on the Par 3 course. The
fountain has a list of Par 3 contest winners, starting with Sam
Snead's win in 1960.
The Record Fountain was built to commemorate the 25th anniversary of
the Masters Tournament. Located left of the No. 17 tee, it displays
course records and
Masters Tournament champions.
Sarazen Bridge is a footbridge that crosses the pond on hole 15 that
separates the fairway from the green. Made of stone, it was named for
Gene Sarazen for a memorable double eagle "Shot heard 'round the
World" in 1935 that propelled him into a 36-hole playoff, which he won
by five strokes. Players must cross the Sarazen Bridge to get onto the
15th green. The bridge itself is a hazard of sorts due to its close
proximity to the left side of the fairway. Errant shots have been
known to carom off its stone surface for a variety of results, good
and bad. Due to a sloping embankment in front of the green, balls will
often roll off the green and into the water. The bridge was dedicated
in 1955 to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the famous shot.
Golf Club has about 300 members at any given time.
Membership is strictly by invitation: there is no application process.
USA Today published a list of all the current members.
Membership is believed to cost between $10,000 and $30,000 and annual
dues were estimated in 2009 to be less than $10,000 per year.
Augusta invited and accepted its first African-American member, Ron
Townsend, in 1990 following a controversy at Shoal Creek
Country Club. Shoal Creek, an all-white golf club in Alabama,
refused membership to black players and faced demands that the PGA
Championship not be held there following racist comments by the club's
Augusta welcomed its first female members in 2012. Chairman Billy
Payne declined to discuss the club's then-continued refusal to admit
women in his 2012 pre-Masters press conference. However,
Augusta National subsequently extended membership to Condoleezza Rice
Darla Moore on August 20, 2012.
Notable current members include:
Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
Pete Coors, former chairman and CEO of
Coors Brewing Company
Coors Brewing Company and
Molson Coors Brewing Company, current chairman of MillerCoors
Bill Gates, co-founder and chairman of Microsoft
Roger Goodell, commissioner of the National Football League
Pat Haden, former NFL player and former athletic director at the
University of Southern California
Lou Holtz, former college football coach
Hugh L. McColl Jr., former CEO of Bank of America
South Carolina businesswoman
Sam Nunn, former
United States Senator from Georgia
Sam Palmisano, former CEO of IBM
T. Boone Pickens, Jr., oil tycoon
Condoleezza Rice, former
United States Secretary of State
Henry Waite, former Chairman of HUFF Productions
Simon Chirayath, British businessman
James D. Robinson III, former CEO of American Express
Lynn Swann, former NFL player and current athletic director at the
University of Southern California
Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric
Matt Rose, former CEO of BNSF Railway
Jack Nicklaus, Hall of Fame golfer, six-time Masters champion, and the
only Masters champion who is currently a regular member of the
Recently deceased members include:
Arnold Palmer, Hall of Fame golfer and four-time Masters champion, was
also a regular member when he died in September 2016.
Melvin Laird, former
United States Secretary of Defense (died November
Robert Sumner former pastor (died December 2016)
Frank Broyles, former athletic director at the University of Arkansas
(died August 2017)
Clifford Roberts (1931–1976)
William Lane (1976–1980)
Hord Hardin (1980–1991)
Jackson T. Stephens (1991–1998)
Hootie Johnson (1998–2006)
Billy Payne (2006–2017)
Fred Ridley (2017–present)
In 1966, the governing board of Augusta National passed a resolution
honoring founder Bobby Jones with the position of President in
2002 membership controversy
Augusta National and Chairman
Hootie Johnson are widely known for a
disagreement beginning in 2002 with Martha Burk, then chair of the
Washington-based National Council of Women's Organizations, over
admission of female members to Augusta National. Burk said she
found out about the club's policies in a
USA Today column by Christine
Brennan published April 11, 2002. She then wrote a private letter to
Johnson saying that hosting the
Masters Tournament at a male-only club
constituted sexism. Johnson characterized Burk's approach as
"offensive and coercive", and responding to efforts to link
the issue to sexism and civil rights, Johnson maintained the issue
had to do with the rights of any private club:
Our membership is single gender just as many other organizations and
clubs all across America. These would include Junior Leagues,
sororities, fraternities, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and countless
others. And we all have a moral and legal right to organize our clubs
the way we wish.
Burk, whose childhood nickname was also Hootie, claimed to have
been "called a man hater, anti-family, lesbian, all the usual
things." Johnson was portrayed as a
Senator Claghorn type—"a
blustery defender of all things Southern".
Following the discord, two club members resigned: Thomas H. Wyman, a
former CEO of CBS, and John Snow, when President George W. Bush
nominated him to serve as Secretary of the Treasury. Pressure on
corporate sponsors led the club to broadcast the 2003 and 2004
tournaments without commercials. The controversy was discussed by the
International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee when re-examining whether golf meets
Olympic criteria of a "sport practiced without discrimination with a
spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play". Augusta National
extended membership to
Condoleezza Rice and
Darla Moore on August 20,
Every member of Augusta National receives a green sports coat with the
club's logo on the left breast. The idea of the green jacket
originated with club co-founder Clifford Roberts. Many believe it is
because he wanted patrons visiting during the tournament to be able to
readily identify members. Since Sam Snead's victory in 1949, the
winner of each year's
Masters Tournament has received a green jacket,
although he does not receive membership. The jacket is presented to
the new winner by the winner of the previous tournament. If the
previous champion is either unavailable or has won consecutive
tournaments, then the current chairman acts as the presenter. Until
1967, the jackets were manufactured by
Brooks Brothers and since have
been made by Hamilton of Cincinnati, Ohio, with the imported wool
produced at the Victor Forstmann plant in Dublin, Georgia.
The current Masters champion is the only owner of a green jacket
permitted to remove it from the grounds of Augusta National, and only
for a period of one year. Before this time limit was in place, the
jacket of a few long-past Masters champions had been sold, after their
deaths, to collectors. Consequently, the members of Augusta National
have gone to great lengths to secure the remaining examples. Now, two
jackets remain outside the grounds of Augusta National with the club's
Gary Player first won the Masters in 1961, he brought
his jacket home to South Africa. For years the board insisted that
Player return the jacket but Player kept "forgetting" or coming up
with humorous creative excuses why he did not return the jacket. After
becoming something of a running joke, Augusta National's members
allowed him to keep it, where it is on display in his personal museum.
The second jacket belongs to 1938 champion Henry Picard. Before the
traditions surrounding one of golf's greatest awards were well
established, the jacket was removed by Picard from Augusta National.
It is now currently on display in the "Picard Lounge" at Canterbury
Golf Club in Beachwood, Ohio. Along with Snead, the nine previous
winners were also awarded green jackets in 1949, and these became
known as the "original ten" jackets.
Horton Smith's jacket, awarded for his wins in 1934 and 1936, sold at
auction in September 2013 for over $682,000; the highest price ever
paid for a piece of golf memorabilia. Smith died at age 55 in
1963 and it had been in the possession of his brother Ren's stepsons
Augusta National employs a staff of caddies to assist members, guests,
and professionals. Before 1983, staff caddies were assigned to
players at the Masters, and all were black males. Club co-founder
Roberts once said, "As long as I'm alive, all the golfers will be
white and all the caddies will be black." Roberts comitted suicide
at Augusta in 1977 and five years later in November 1982, chairman
Hord Hardin announced that players were henceforth permitted to use
their regular caddies at the Masters. This followed an incident in
the 1982 tournament when many of the caddies failed to show at the
proper time on Friday morning following a Thursday rain delay, and
scathing letters to Hardin from two-time champion Tom Watson and
Twelve players, including then five-time champion Jack Nicklaus,
defending champion Craig Stadler, and future two-time champion Ben
Crenshaw, employed club caddies in 1983. Well into the 1970s,
all four majors and some tour events required the use of the host
club's caddies; the U.S. Open had this policy through
1975, but by 1980, only the Masters and the
Western Open near
Chicago retained the requirement. Augusta's caddie staff continues
to wear its trademark white jumpsuits year-round.
Female caddies are permitted. Most of them are professional golfers'
regular caddies, such as Fanny Sunesson. Sunesson is one of the PGA
Tour's few female caddies, and has caddied for several players at the
Masters, most notably three-time champion Nick Faldo, and more
recently Henrik Stenson. The first female caddie at Augusta was George
Archer's daughter Elizabeth in 1983, her 21st event carrying the bag
for her father. Archer, the 1969 champion, tied for twelfth
for one of his better finishes at Augusta.
During the pre-tournament events in 2007,
Golf Channel's Kelly
Tilghman caddied for
Arnold Palmer in the par-3 contest. Fuzzy
Zoeller's daughter Gretchen was his caddie for his last year as a
competitor in the tournament in 2009. Tennis pro Caroline Wozniacki,
ex-fiancée of Rory McIlroy, caddied for him in the par-3 contests of
2013 and 2014.
Crenshaw won both of his Masters titles in 1984 and 1995 with an
Augusta National caddie, Carl Jackson.
Appearances in video games
Golf Club is featured in the Japan-exclusive video
game franchise Harukanaru Augusta, which started in 1989. The
games were produced by T&E Soft. One of its last titles Masters
'98: Haruka Naru Augusta was released for the Nintendo 64.
Golf Club and the
Masters Tournament are also
featured in the video game Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters, and
has subsequently featured in later iterations of the game. This is the
first time that the course has been officially used in the Tiger Woods
franchise. Augusta National was also previously used in the
1986 computer game Mean 18, published by Accolade.
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– along with
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^ a b Blauvelt, Harry (October 21, 2002). "Augusta leader's record
defies image". USA Today. Retrieved April 25, 2010. All agree Johnson,
who has a record of access and inclusion, is one of the most unlikely
people to have gotten caught up in the firestorm over Augusta
membership. Yet the former University of
South Carolina football
player and prominent banker is being characterized nationally as a
rube. "His whole life has been just the opposite of what he's being
portrayed," says U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C. "He's always come down
on the side of access and equality. He's not a prejudiced person in
any way. He is not deserving of this controversy."
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